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Thread: lever des lapins

  1. #1
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    lever des lapins

    -- Mais ce n'est pas lui qui a été condamné par la justice.
    --C'est vrai. Et il ne sera jamais non plus. Il n'est pas du genre à lever des lapins.

    It sounds negative from the context. To say controversial things?

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    Re: lever des lapins

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmanue11e View Post
    -- Mais ce n'est pas lui qui a été condamné par la justice.
    --C'est vrai. Et il ne sera jamais non plus. Il n'est pas du genre à lever des lapins.

    It sounds negative from the context. To say controversial things?
    Not at all, "lever un lapin" is a colloquial expression meaning : to uncover something, to raise a problem. Usual expression : "soulever un problème". Here it means that the character was actually guilty but someone was declared guilty instead, and your character isn't the one who's going to raise the issue.
    How would you say that in colloquiall English ?
    "Il est plus humain de rire de la vie que d'en pleurer", Sénèque.

  3. #3
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    Re: lever des lapins

    To dig up dirt is to find out stuff.

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    Re: lever des lapins

    I'm not sure it's really equivalent :
    1) the connotation seems different between "dirt" and "lapin". The expression comes from hunting when you make a rabbit come out. By the way, you can also say "lever un lièvre" ("lièvre" = hare)
    2) what's more important is that you can "lever un lapin" unexpectedly. You can say or do something that raises a problem although it wasn't your intention. Whereas I think you can only dig up dirt intentionnaly.

    To dig up dirt would rather be : "fouiller la merde" - slang.
    Last edited by philosophia; 17th January 2010 at 6:13 PM. Reason: mistake
    "Il est plus humain de rire de la vie que d'en pleurer", Sénèque.

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    Re: lever des lapins

    to raise a red flag ?

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    Re: lever des lapins

    I think and old version is "to start hares" (literally, to frighten them out of their dens), meaning "to open questions" through "start some rumors to see who reacts and how".

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    Re: lever des lapins

    Quote Originally Posted by misterk View Post
    to raise a red flag ?
    I thought it meant : to give alarm, which would be in French : "tirer la sonnette/le signal d'alarme". Am I wrong ?

    Quote Originally Posted by akaAJ View Post
    I think and old version is "to start hares" (literally, to frighten them out of their dens), meaning "to open questions" through "start some rumors to see who reacts and how".
    It's the exact translation of "lever un lièvre". Funny how languages are similar sometimes !
    But "lever un lapin/lièvre" is very common in France and if I get you right "to start hares" is old-fashioned.
    "Il est plus humain de rire de la vie que d'en pleurer", Sénèque.

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    Re: lever des lapins

    to raise a red flag is used quite generally (US) to mean to signal a problem. E.g., "I hate to rise a red flag, but haven't we overlooked a problem in the Canadian market?"

    But it may not be the right translation here...

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    Re: lever des lapins

    Thanks Misterk.
    After your explanation, I think it can work as a translation sometimes but not always.
    "Il est plus humain de rire de la vie que d'en pleurer", Sénèque.

  10. #10
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    Re: lever des lapins

    Quote Originally Posted by philosophia View Post
    But "lever un lapin/lièvre" is very common in France and if I get you right "to start hares" is old-fashioned.
    If someone said "to start hares" to me, I'd have no idea what they were talking about.

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    Re: lever des lapins

    Well, well, it seems we're stuck...
    "Il est plus humain de rire de la vie que d'en pleurer", Sénèque.

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    Re: lever des lapins

    stir things up

    ripple the waters

  13. #13
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    Re: lever des lapins

    Not so stuck ! Thanks Paulfg42 Your 2 propositions sound good to me.

    Here's more about the expression :
    http://www.expressio.fr/expressions/...-un-lievre.php
    "Il est plus humain de rire de la vie que d'en pleurer", Sénèque.

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